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Fox News Poll: 79% Say U.S. Economy Could Collapse

Most American voters believe it’s possible the nation’s economy could collapse, and majorities don’t think elected officials in Washington have ideas for fixing it.

The latest Fox News poll finds that 79 percent of voters think it’s possible the economy could collapse, including large majorities of Democrats (72 percent), Republicans (84 percent) and independents (80 percent).

Just 18 percent think the economy is "so big and strong it could never collapse."

Moreover, 78 percent of voters believe the federal government is "larger and more costly" than it has ever been before, and by nearly three-to-one more voters think the national debt (65 percent) is a greater potential threat to the country’s future than terrorism (23 percent).

Who has a plan for dealing with the economy?

Overall, 35 percent of voters think the Obama administration has a clear plan for fixing the economy, down from 42 percent last summer (July 21-22, 2009).

At the same time the number saying the White House doesn’t have a plan for the economy has increased from 53 percent in July to 62 percent in the new poll. That includes almost all Republicans (88 percent), two-thirds of independents (67 percent), as well as a third of Democrats (33 percent).

Even fewer people think Democrats in Congress (24 percent) and Republicans in Congress (16 percent) have clear plans to fix the economy.

There is a large gap in party support, as Democrats (46 percent) are significantly more likely than Republicans (25 percent) to think their party has a strategy for the economy.

The national telephone poll was conducted for Fox News by Opinion Dynamics Corp. among 900 registered voters from March 16 to March 17. For the total sample, the poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

"These results reveal a deep anxiety about the fragility of our economy, as voters face continued uncertainty about jobs and an expanding commitment to public sector spending," said Ernest Paicopolos, a principal of Opinion Dynamics.

Three in 10 American voters (30 percent) say they are comfortable with the size and role of the federal government right now, while 65 percent say the government has become too big and "is restricting American freedoms."

Sizable majorities of Republicans (84 percent) and independents (74 percent) think the government is too big, while just over half of Democrats (51 percent) are okay with the size of government.

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